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January 23, 2018 10:51 am

British-Palestinian Model Steps Down From L’Oreal Paris UK Campaign After Revelation of Antisemitic Tweet History

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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Amena Khan in a L’Oreal hair product advertisement. Photo: Instagram.

A British-Palestinian model and beauty blogger announced on Monday her decision to step down from a campaign with the cosmetics company L’Oreal Paris UK after it was revealed that she had a history of posting anti-Israel messages on Twitter.

Amena Khan, who was featured last week in a L’Oreal hair product advertisement while wearing a hair-covering hijab, deleted all her antisemitic Twitter posts on Friday, but not before they were discovered and shared on social media via screenshots. In the since-deleted posts, all from 2014, Khan called Israel a “sinister state,” an “illegal state” and “child murderers.” She claimed Israel took part in “terrorizing innocent civilians” and blamed it for “the illegal occupation of Palestine and oppression for over 60 years.”

In another deleted Twitter post Khan wrote, “Israel = Pharoah. Both are child murderers. Insha’Allah, defeat also awaits the former; it’s only a matter of time.”

Khan posted on both Instagram and Twitter about her decision to no longer be involved with L’Oreal Paris UK, and in the same message she apologized for her tweets from 2014. She wrote, “I deeply regret the content of the tweets I made in 2014 and sincerely apologize for the upset and hurt that they have caused. Championing diversity is one of my passions, I don’t discriminate against anyone.” She added that she deleted the antisemitic posts because “they do not represent the message of harmony that I stand for.”

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Khan concluded by saying, “I recently took part in a campaign, which excited me because it celebrated inclusivity. With deep regret, I’ve decided to step down from this campaign because the current conversations surrounding it detract from the positive and inclusive sentiment that it set out to deliver.”

A spokesperson for L’Oréal Paris said in a statement to BBC, “L’Oreal Paris is committed to tolerance and respect towards all people,” the spokesperson said. “We agree with her decision to step down from the campaign.”

Khan’s commercial for L’Oreal Paris UK made her the first hijab-wearing woman to be featured in a major mainstream hair campaign, according to Glamour.

Her advertisement with the brand debuted only a few days before pro-Palestinian blogger and activist Amani Al-Khatahtbeh announced her decision to refuse an award from fellow cosmetics giant Revlon because of its relationship with brand ambassador and Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

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